NetApp Develops Software to Unify Hybrid Multicloud Management

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — NetApp is rolling out software designed to deliver a simpler hybrid multicloud experience for companies.

NetApp BlueXP is a unified control plane for storage and data services that operates across on-premises and cloud environments, according to the company last month.

NetApp’s hope is that BlueXP will bring about a more “evolved cloud.” The goal is to simplify and automate critical operations across on-premises and public clouds to help organizations drive business impact and improve the overall customer experience.

This is in response to the diversity of modern environments. Instead of wrangling between on-premises and cloud workloads, organizations now must deal with multiple clouds. They might be spread around multiple providers and consist of private, public, and hybrid cloud elements. As a result, companies increasingly face daunting challenges and inefficiencies that make management and cost containment difficult.

NetApp BlueXP

NetApp BlueXP allows users to manage an entire hybrid multicloud data estate. It can incorporate on-premises storage as well as native cloud storage residing with public cloud providers, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. Behind the scenes is an AIOps engine that streamlines the processes needed to deploy, automate, discover, manage, protect, govern, and optimize data and supporting infrastructure.

SaaS-delivered BlueXP gives a single point of visibility and management across any storage assets around the globe to manage NetApp AFF, FAS, StorageGRID, and E-Series on-premises storage as well as the major clouds with Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP, Azure NetApp Files, Google Cloud Volumes Service and Cloud Volumes ONTAP.

Its integrated machine learning (ML)/articial intelligence (AI)-driven automation capabilities are designed to reduce staff demands, resource loads, and the overall risk profile. AI-enabled health and status monitoring feeds alert of infrastructure and workload issues and guidance to avoid trouble. Additionally, NetApp Active IQ technology for always-on telemetry across the hybrid multicloud is integrated into BlueXP.

On the security front, a zero-trust approach includes a single ransomware dashboard for company-wide visibility into ransomware vulnerabilities with automatic remediation. Governance is simplified via a view of the digital estate for the purposes of monitoring compliance and setting permissions as well as audits at the user and data level. Further features address the secure copying, syncing, tiering, and caching of data across clouds and data centers.

NetApp is making all this available on a pay-per-play model. A Digital Wallet stores licenses for data and simplifies licensing management. For those wanting to use Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS), NetApp Keystone services are integrated into BlueXP.

“Evolved cloud”

“By taking an evolved cloud approach, customers can integrate cloud into their architecture and operations, eliminate complexity, and increase their speed of innovation to deliver quickly on the business outcomes that matter most,” said George Kurian, CEO, NetApp.

NetApp’s unified, hybrid multicloud storage “stands out, and the company has emerged as a leader and outperformer in our recent reports,” said Enrico Signoretti, an analyst at the research firm GigaOM.

“NetApp is building its product portfolio around a compelling vision, with a next-generation, hybrid multicloud unified storage approach,” Signoretti said.

NetApp’s Recent Activity

NetApp of late has focused on sustainability, healthier partnerships, and security.

The company has committed to a 50% intensity reduction of its Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions and reductions in its Scope 1 and 2 targets.

It has strengthened an already strong partnership with VMware aligned with enterprise modernization and reducing multicloud complexity. To further its cloud services ambitions, it has opened a new international headquarters in Ireland to extend its reach in the multicloud data management market across the globe.

Security, too, is an area receiving heavy investment. Spot by NetApp is a continuous security solution for cloud infrastructure. The company is steadily adding to its capabilities to help customers identify and assess cloud security posture risks. It is an aid to SecOps and CloudOps teams, helping them to ensure continuous cloud security and compliance.

NetApp and the Storage Market

The enterprise storage market is getting healthier, according to IDC. After starting 2022 with a 2% growth quarter, there was a second quarter surge to 9%. Double-digit growth in North America and western Europe shows an overall rebound in storage demand in key markets. IDC believes that while inflation is a major source of concern for infrastructure buyers, they will continue to invest in infrastructure purchases. This is good news for NetApp, which has long been a major force in enterprise and cloud storage.

Out of about $7 billion of the quarterly revenues worldwide for enterprise storage, NetApp secured about 10%. IDC noted that NetApp’s position has strengthened significantly in recent years. Its cloud strategy appears to be paying off.

“Organizations are looking for a better cloud experience — simpler, streamlined, governed, and optimized for performance and cost across their entire hybrid multicloud environment,” said Archana Venkatraman, research director, cloud data management, IDC.

“An ‘evolved cloud’ is one of the most grounded, AI-driven, and practical approaches to cloud management as a whole — and organizations will quickly benefit from migration to operations, to FinOps, to innovation.”

See more: 5 Top Storage Software Trends

Drew Robb
Drew Robb
Drew Robb is a contributing writer for Datamation, Enterprise Storage Forum, eSecurity Planet, Channel Insider, and eWeek. He has been reporting on all areas of IT for more than 25 years. He has a degree from the University of Strathclyde UK (USUK), and lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

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